Wrongful death

Richland Wrongful Death Lawyers

Experienced advocacy for families when negligence causes the death of a loved one in WA

It’s the worst moment possible. Learning that a parent, child, spouse, or domestic partner was killed in an accident – that should have been prevented. When drivers, nursing homes, doctors, and others cause the death of a loved one, they deserve to be held accountable. A strong damage award or settlement helps your family honor your relative while moving forward. A just award sends a message that the wrongdoers must be more careful in the future.

At Telaré Law, our Richland personal injury lawyers understand the trauma of living without a loved one. We’ve helped numerous families and personal injury victims when avoidable accidents cause death and catastrophic injuries. Our lawyers understand the unique legal challenges involved with filing a wrongful death claim – and the unique personal challenges involved with families who just want their loved one back. Our lawyers have a strong record of successfully trying death cases in court. Many cases settle because the insurance companies know we are accomplished trial lawyers. Call us today to discuss your rights.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

When a loved one dies, there are two possible claims that can be filed, depending on whether the death was immediate or delayed. These claims are:

  • A wrongful death claim. Drivers, construction companies, nursing homes, healthcare providers, and manufacturers are liable for any deaths they wrongfully cause. The family can claim compensation for all their economic and personal losses that a wrongful death causes. In Washington, there is a special law for filing a wrongful death when a child dies.
  • A survival claim. This type of claim is essentially the claim your loved one could have filed if he/she hadn’t died. If your loved one was hospitalized or homebound for a week, a month, or even longer due the negligence or fault of others, then the family can file the action for your loved one. Survival damages included your loved one’s medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.

Normally, the family files the wrongful death claim and the survival claim simultaneously.

What are the challenges in filing a wrongful death claim?

Wrongful death claims are very emotionally trying. At Telaré Law, we understand how much you just want to mourn and remember your loved one. We calmly answer your questions and guide you through the claims process. We explain some of the unique complications of filing a wrongful death claim.

  • The victim can’t speak for himself/herself. Your loved one can’t say what he/she was doing, or what the defendants were doing, just before he or she died. You need others to speak for your loved one. We question witnesses, examine physical evidence, work with investigators and product experts, to show why the defendants are responsible for your loved one’s death.
  • There’s a corresponding criminal case. If the defendant’s action violated any state or county laws, the defendant could be charged with a crime. For example, drunk drivers may be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. We coordinate your case with the case of the government. A criminal conviction might be negligence per se. We can always file a wrongful death even if the defendant’s conduct wasn’t criminal.
  • You need to mourn. We understand how hard it is to focus on proving fault and saying just how much the loss of your family member means. We balance your need to mourn with helping you assert your right to compensation.

Telaré understands that wrongful death cases also affect the “trial or settlement” decision. We understand that many family members find it very painful to testify in court. While we do prepare each wrongful death case for trial, many wrongful death lawsuits do settle because adjusters and defense lawyers understand how capably and persuasively we argue cases before juries.

What types of accidents cause the most wrongful deaths?

At Telaré Law, our Richland wrongful death lawyers advocate for families when a relative dies due to:

Who can file a wrongful death claim in Richland?

In wrongful death and survival claims, the personal representative of the estate files your claim. The personal representative is an executor named in your loved one’s will, or someone who applies for and receives court approval. Applicants normally include spouses, domestic partners, parents, and legal guardians. Our Richland wrongful death lawyers understand the process for appointing a personal representative for the family.

Who are the beneficiaries of wrongful death claim?

The person who files the claim may be different than the beneficiaries of the claim.

  • If an adult dies, the beneficiaries are:
    • The spouse
    • A state-registered domestic partner
    • A child or children, including stepchildren

If the decedent didn’t have a spouse, partner, or children, then the parents and siblings of the decedent are the beneficiaries.

  • If a child dies, the parents or legal guardians are the beneficiaries – unless the child had a spouse, domestic partner, or children. There are additional considerations including proving the parent or guardian can show “support of an emotional, psychological, or financial nature within the parent-child relationship” that our lawyers will explain.

Who are the beneficiaries of a survival claim?

The beneficiaries are the people your loved one named in his/her will. The intestate laws of Washington determine the beneficiaries if there is no will.

How much is a wrongful death claim worth?

Each person’s case is different. There are numerous factors, such as the life expectancy of the decedent, which must be considered.

Adult victims. When the person who died is an adult, the damages include:

  • The cost of the funeral and burial
  • The income the decedent would have earned and provided his/her family but for the wrongful death
  • The value of the household services the decedent would have performed for the family
  • The guidance, care, and emotional support the loved one would have provided each family member
  • Loss of consortium for spouse or a domestic partner

Children victims. If your child tragically dies, the damages include essentially the same damages as for adult victims, though from the perspective of a child. Often children haven’t begun to earn a living yet. However, parents are entitled to compensation for the end of the parent-child relationship.

Survival claims damages include the medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering of your loved one from the date of the accident until the date of the loved one’s death. Additional damages can be awarded for the knowledge of imminent death, loss of consortium, and any property damages.

What is the time limit for filing a wrongful death claim in Richland?

The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim is three years. Some exceptions may apply. Claims against the government typically have a shorter statute of limitations. In some cases, the statute for a wrongful death claim may be tolled.

Please don’t wait three years. The sooner our Richland trial lawyers speak with you, the sooner we can calm your anxieties, investigate the claim, and speak with witnesses.

Do you have a wrongful death lawyer near me?

At Telaré Law, our Richland office is located at 1321 Columbia Park Trail, Suite B, in Richland, WA. We also have an office in Kennewick. We meet clients who are immobile or ill at their homes or a hospital when necessary.

Call Team Telaré today to discuss wrongful death claims in WA

At Telaré Law, we work with you and the personal representative of the estate to present your strongest case. Defense lawyers and insurance adjusters don’t love us – but they respect us – because we are skilled at showing why defendants are liable for a wrongful death, and why families should receive large verdicts and settlements.

To discuss your right to file a wrongful death and/or survival claim, when a relative tragically dies, call us at 509-737-8500 or use our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We represent wrongful death clients on a contingency fee basis. We fight for families in Richland, Pasco, Walla Walla, Pullman, Othello, Moses Lake, Ritzville, and all Southeast Washington.

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